A Chip in His Shoulder

L.A. Witt
A Chip in His Shoulder
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Riptide Publishing
Release Date
November 2011
Alternate Universe, Erotic Romance, LGBTQ, Vamps & Shifters Romance

"Contract killer" is a fitting job for a vampire, and it suits Liam just fine. Cast down from the wealth and status of the Sky for taking a human lover, Liam lurks in the poor and pollution-choked Gutter, killing to survive. Between his natural strengths and his Cybernetix mods, no mark has ever escaped him.

Liam's ex-lover Daniel is the heir to Cybernetix—and its greatest threat. Horrified by people less man than machine and the exploitation of Gutter factory workers, he'd rather destroy Cybernetix than inherit it . . . if his father doesn't destroy him first.

Years of anger and a heap of mods have kept Daniel and Liam apart. When Liam is hired to slaughter a man in his glass Sky tower, he walks right into a Daniel-shaped trap. Daniel's father has betrayed them both, and only by working together can Daniel and Liam survive the coming day. They have no reason to trust each other, but as the dawn looms, a bargain that began with the simple urge to live soon reminds them of the love they once shared. Can they find each other again, or will the Cybernetix assassins find them first?

Book Review by BookAddict (reviewer)
Feb 04, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
234 people found the following review helpful
Love and hate are so close at times; it's hard to tell in the heat of passion.

Liam was betrayed by Daniel and has the opportunity to confront him after five long years. Liam's been given a contract to assassinate Daniel by Daniel's father. With pleasure, Liam greets Daniel with a loaded gun in both his hand and pants. Not all is what it seems. Daniel still loves Liam and his world has come crashing down around him before he had a chance for his plans to come together. Old wounds are opened as Liam confronts Daniel. New wounds are created as they come to an understanding.

This story is totally cyberpunk, which I like. I would like to see more about this pretty cool cyberpunk world. The controversial mods totally had my inner geek girl squealing in delight. The world was explained just enough that I understood the warring factions and the idealists. I liked the gadgets incorporated into the story. It was sort of borg-esque yet different in a hot techno way. I would really like to read more about this world and learn more about the different companies and about the Gutter. I also want to know if there are "rebel" forces who band together to fight the large corporations.

This is my first story by Ms. Witt. I like her fluid writing style. The pace she sets is fast and furious. I recommend this book to fellow cyberpunk lovers who enjoy a hot m/m love/hate relationship.
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Book Review by Valentina Heart (author,reviewer)
Mar 19, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
227 people found the following review helpful
Cyberpunk with a paranormal touch and a promise of a fast and dangerous ride is exactly what A CHIP IN HIS SHOULDER is. L.A. Witt created a fast paced action with a lot of detail and a world of possibilities.

My interest in this book started when I first saw the cover. Honestly it is still one of the best ones I've seen, because it's simple, hot and dangerous and in a way tells a story of its own. If I've read the blurb, it's been a while since then because I was convinced starting that it was a contemporary. Maybe that will teach me to pay attention to words and not hot hunks. A weakness, can't help it. So when Liam started talking about mods and light sensitivity, I felt as if I'd dropped in the middle of a movie and had to poke at five people around me to tell me what was going on.

Turns out he's a vampire/mercenary who lives in the Gutter, lower part of the world where the poor people live and work, where the air is barely breathable, crime is the norm and one is likely to get anything he wants for a price. He is hired by his former lover's (who'd betrayed him and landed him where he is) father to kill his son, Daniel. Liam doesn't ask why because all he wants is the money and revenge can only sweeten the deal.

Not to go into long explanations, the father is the real villain and he'd set them both up, wanting to get rid of the threat they represent each in his own way. That was fine with me, actually the whole future with modifications and advanced technology was interesting and something I like reading about. But the way it was presented could have been better. The feeling of starting the story from the middle took too long to fade and by then I was overwhelmed by the technical details I had no background to base them on. The fact that Liam was a vampire didn't quite fit into the story and while I did get used to it, even by the end, I didn't see a point in it. I also wondered how exactly did the human race come to the level where they became vampires. Were they turned or born? Evolution maybe? Way too many questions and definitely not enough answers.

The mutual forgiveness from both characters seemed far-fetched and their sudden attraction too close to a fairytale. I really couldn't get into the romance part of this story at all and could easily say there was no romance at all. The love/hate relationship I very much like, but even that definition couldn't be used in this particular story.

I debated between rating this with two stars and three, but decided I really did like the action parts and the whole ‘powerful villain' vibe they revolved around. I thought it was well developed and the only thing that made much sense.

The ending was rather open, as if another book is planned sometime in the future, but since I didn't much care for the characters and there was no emotional side of me invested into this story, I was fine with it.

Cyberpunk is rare in m/m romance, and as such I would say if asked – go and try this book. If I am going to remember it long enough to actually say that is another thing entirely. Since I've read and liked a couple of books by this author, I know it's not a matter of lacking ideas or talent, just that L.A. Witt has a very diverse style and while one book might be perfect, another might be a complete miss.
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